May 2023

Scots predator who targeted five women walks free after being told prison won’t help victims

A sexual predator who targeted five women has walked free after being told a prison sentence wouldn’t help the victims or society.

Steven Puttock was instead put under social work supervision and must pay each of the females £500 compensation.

A court heard that Puttock’s attacks happened over a 14-month period and all the adult victims “were friends and like family” to him.

Two were assaulted after he sneaked into their bedrooms as they slept, lay down beside them and touched them inappropriately.

Puttock, 25, of Kilsyth, North Lanarkshire, admitted assaulting the five women at houses in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth between January 2020 and March the following year.

Airdrie Sheriff Court heard one woman was abused on three occasions and another twice.

Two assaults happened at the same address on the same day during a social event that Puttock had attended with his then girlfriend who was unaware of his behaviour.

Puttock then apologised via text and Facebook messages to the two women, using exactly the same form of words to both.

Sheriff Joseph Hughes said Puttock had conceded to a clinical psychologist that he’d been on “a concerning trajectory” and his offending “would likely have escalated to a more serious level”.

He was assessed as at a medium risk of re-offending, but the sheriff told him:

“You are a first offender and I can’t send you to prison unless no other method of dealing with you is appropriate.

“A custodial sentence will not in itself assist you in addressing your offending.

“Sentencing you to a modest period in prison will not help either the victims or society at large.

“I’ve concluded that I can stand back from the custodial threshold and impose a stringent, top end community disposal.

“I have come to the view that it’s more appropriate to keep a close eye on you and to monitor you over a longer period of time than would have been possible if you’d been sentenced to imprisonment today.”

Puttock will be under supervision for three years. He must tell his supervising officer of any new relationship he has with a female and is subject to strict controls over his internet use.

He must do 300 hours of unpaid community work and will be confined to his home between 7pm and 6am each day under a 12-month electronic tagging order.